Friday Fictioneers -The Consolation Prize

Photo Credit – Dale Rogerson

This is a 100 word story for Friday Fictioneers. Please follow the link to find the rules and to look at other 100 word stories. 

Candy pink sky fades to indigo. You knock on my door at exactly six.

I can’t help but see us, shadow backlit by fairground lights, reflected in the abundant chrome, in the eyes of the vendor who implores you to take one more chance to win me a prize.

No luck for you, and no stuffed creature for me. Consolation comes from following the scent of onions and doughnuts to purveyors of deep-fried delights.

You offer to share.

Lips coated in oily cinnamon-sugar, we kiss for the first time.

At home, I blame red cheeks on chill October air.

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Sunday Photo Fiction – Yellow

Bicycles

Photograph by Susan Spaulding

Hello all. This is an entry for Sunday Photo Fiction. Coming in well under the word limit today – but for once it just didn’t feel right to add anything else. One thing I struggled with was the shortening of toasted sandwich – growing up this was called a toastie, but not sure how widely used that term is? 

“Where’s your mum pissed off to this time?”

“Didn’t ask. Don’t care,” Layla said, almost like she meant it.

There was a greasy hiss from the toastie-maker as Rachel popped the lid.

“Puts a dint in those fabulous plans she promised?” Rachel guessed. She flipped the sandwiches onto plates and set them on the table.

Layla pierced hers with a fork. The toastie exhaled steam before haemorrhaging nutella-banana filling.

“I love these,” Layla said. “Better than birthday cake, anyway.”

Rachel raised a glass of lemonade.

“Happy sweet sixteenth, Layla.”

Friday Fictioneers – In Hiding

This image belongs to Anshu Bhojnagarwala.

 

This is a submission for Friday Fictioneers, a challenge to write a 100 word story based on the photo prompt. It’s a lot harder than I remembered, but I got there eventually.

“May? Are you in here?”

After a pause, the music classroom door closed.

Nestled under the piano, she tucked her costume skirt over her feet. The show would go on without her. She didn’t care if they were angry. The last exam was finished, and she wouldn’t see her fellow students again.

There was no mum or dad waiting in the audience to watch her.

A folded flyer for A Midsummer’s Night Dream propped up a stool leg.

She thought of Alice, proudly waving the flyer, proclaiming her big sister was a fairy.

May reluctantly left her hiding place.

Sunday Photo Fiction – Human Misery

This is a flash fiction for Sunday Photo Fiction – 200 words or less based on the photo prompt. Follow the linky for an explanation of the rules or more stories. 

Magdalena had enjoyed 8 happy years of marriage and expected many more to come. Her husband was a thoughtful and honest man, and the idea of abandoning him for anyone else would never cross her mind.

Somewhere down in one of the many netherworlds, three old crones were watching the human world through their special crystal glass. Nothing gave this sadistic bunch more pleasure than watching unhappy mortals.

They didn’t need to get involved too much, humans were very good at making each other miserable. However, they were capable of a few manipulations here and there, and it made the watching even more entertaining.

A stranger was passing through Magdalena’s village, and all it took was one crone’s whisper: “Isn’t he handsome?”

A Warlock’s Opinion of Love

Photo: J Hardy Carroll

 

This is an entry to Friday Fictioneers – where we write 100 word stories based on the picture prompt provided.

Most warlocks will tell you that magic cannot interfere with love. However, Arran’s 162 year experience has taught him that love can be far more fragile than many ascribe it to be.

20 minutes ago, he watched with disappointment as his young protégé disappeared into a $200-a-night hotel with his ill chosen minx. From that moment, this private tryst was doomed.

A simple incantation and smoke is billowing from just one window of the hotel. The lovers are probably oblivious to what’s happening outside, but it won’t be long before they have sudden, unexpected company.

Love rarely survives such indignities.

Unwanted Gifts

Roberta hurried out of the front door in her husband’s slippers and shawl. Neither were adequate protection for the occurring downpour, but she marched down the street anyway. One of Roberta’s elderly neighbours was hobbling along the pavement some distance away.  Roberta always forgets her name; the street she lives on is friendly but not that friendly. The old lady started to cross the road, but her foot skidded on a stray piece of gravel as she stepped off the pavement. Roberta, however, was ready to save the day, and roughly grasped Bridget (The name dislodged itself from somewhere in Roberta’s memory) by her upper arm and pulled her up before she could fall onto the road.

Some five seconds later, a silver Toyota dashed around the corner, narrowly missing the kerb.

“Oh!” exclaimed Bridget. She stood for a second in silence, clearly contemplating what could have happened if Roberta had not been there. “How lucky you were here, R-“

“Bridget, we should get you out of the rain!” interrupted Roberta, through gritted teeth. Her slippers are already sodden.

After escorting Bridget to her front door, Roberta returned home and dried off. She made a milky cup of tea and began to confide in Fudge, her placid tabby cat.

“Oh, so lucky you were here, Roberta!” she imitated, with a dollop of sarcasm. “Yeah, lucky for you, you old bint. Not exactly how I wanted to spend my Saturday, and if Dave’s slippers don’t come out of the tumble dryer alright, I’m done for.”

Roberta’s in depth chats with Fudge only started when she started having the visions. The cat wouldn’t think she was crazy, and most importantly, the cat couldn’t tell anyone else that Roberta had gone off her rocker and thought she could see the future. Fudge yawned and stretched across the settee on the opposite side of the living room to the Roberta.

“Okay, Fudge, I know. Dave deserves to have his slippers ruined, the cheating bastard. Though, he might not have cheated on me yet, and we know that we can change what’s in the visions or Bridget would have met her maker this afternoon. So maybe he won’t cheat on me. The vision of him and his ex-wife could be completely out of context?”

In response to this, Fudge stared glassily out of the window.

“Or maybe I’m in complete denial,” Roberta sighed.

 

Reflection

For years, I’d noticed unnatural things about my own reflection. Sometimes I saw a slight delay in movement, or an odd twitch that I didn’t feel. The eyes would blink maybe a second before I did, and I’d catch some strange expression in the corner of my vision as I turned away from the mirror.

When my mirror image finally spoke, I felt relieved that I hadn’t been imagining it all this time. There was another person there, or some other version of me.  We became good friends, in the end, understanding each other so perfectly. I began to feel sorry for people who didn’t have a reflection who could talk back.

Months went by, and then he asked me a question I couldn’t answer.

“What do you do,” he asked, “when you’re not being my mirror image?”

The question rolled in my head, and I realised I couldn’t remember where I was before I came to this particular bathroom mirror, I didn’t know what laid beyond the door behind me. When my mirror image walked back into his life, I was surrounded by black fog.

I was nothing but his reflection.

Bad Decisions

“If it wasn’t for the fact it felt so good, I’d never make bad decisions, ever,” Caroline slurred. She was almost lying down on the couch opposite me, as listless on her fourth glass of sauvignon as she’d been energetic on the second.

“I never seem to have the opportunity to make half the bad decisions you do, at least be grateful for that,” I replied.

This seemed to pull Caroline half upright.

“But you are happy, right?” she asked.

Yes, I was happy. I’d lived in that sleepy town for six years, and made some friends that weren’t as dysfunctional as Caroline, and was one year into a relationship which seemed gloriously uncomplicated to any that I’d been in before. Caroline, meanwhile, floated along wherever the winds took her, and if there was any kind of storm, she sheltered here with me for a few days.

Last time it had been regrets about changing her job and working with a new company. This time, it was a broken heart, which had been the likely outcome from the moment she had fallen in love with her boss.

“I would let you know if I wasn’t happy, it’s definitely my turn to sit on your couch and drink your wine until I cheer up.”

Caroline walked over and sat next to me.  She took my glass of beer and put it on the table. Before I could ask why, she kissed me hard on the lips.

“Sure you’re not suffering from the lack of opportunity to make bad decisions?”

Friday Fictioneers – Closure

PHOTO PROMPT © Peter Abbey

Copyright – Peter Abbey

Another Friday Fictioneers Submission. Please follow the link to take part of read other 100 word stories. The big question for me today, as someone who never studied English after 16, was “That or Which?” Feel free to educate me. 

There was a neglected snicket behind George Street which squeamish locals avoided.

Louis stood at one end, feeling strangely cheered as he realised how grotty this path had become in a decade. He regarded the glass settled in the cracks of degrading asphalt, the abandoned chip cartons, and the pair of stray knickers which lay pathetically across the ground.

How could this place ever have been romantic?

He fixed his gaze on the mouldering fence. He counted the slats, until he reached the 27th on his right.

Louis hearts Hannah

A squirt of spray paint, and the names were gone.

Friday Fictioneers – Keeping it For a Reason

PHOTO PROMPT © Claire Fuller

Copyright – Claire Fuller

Welcome to another wonderful Friday Fictioneers. This picture really called out fantasy to me, but I’ve written a few of those lately and wanted to do something different. Not sure it really worked, but I’m on limited time today. If you want to take part and read other stories, please follow the link.

James looked up from his phone, and his daughter was nowhere to be seen.

“Elise?” His voice filtered through the trees either side of the cycleway. A faltering heartbeat later, she tumbled out from between the foliage, recklessly spinning her schoolbag around her wrist.

“Dad, can you keep this safe for me?” She pressed a thumb sized stone into his palm.

“What do you want this for?” he asked, annoyed.

She shrugged before turning and running ahead to the cycleway exit.

“I’m not keeping it for no reason!”

He looked at the stone, sighed, and slipped it in his pocket.